Instagram video comes to Android, iOS; brings the fight to Vine

With new filters, handy features and a slick no-nonsense implementation in the app gives Instagram the edge.

Instagram had thus far, been just about telling stories (and some great ones at that!) through photos. At its event though, Facebook, the company that bought the app last year, has added yet another dimension to that: videos. Videos on Instagram will be available for both Android and iOS users, as well as on the web.

For Instagram, videos is not just another way to share stories. The focus at the event was clearly about making it simple to share stories and still make it look great. So now when you're getting ready to take a photo on Instagram, you'll have the option to enter the video mode too. Click on the movie camera icon, and once inside, you can take an entire video or several sections for a total of 15 seconds.


Three simple steps

Three simple steps




Since this is Instagram, how can there not be filters? There are 13 of them, newly created (and named) for videos. In addition, users can select which frame of their video looks the most enticing for their peers to watch the video. But how can Instagram make the badly shot videos look good? You know those videos of you running after the little ones and the camera shoots bumpy footage. To fix this, Instagram has Cinema, which is a feature exclusively for the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5. It uses advanced stabilisation effects to give you nearly-perfect looking (albeit slightly cropped) video despite the shaking. The results looked great in the short video that was shown, but we are not sure that's how good it will actually be.

The app itself plays the videos just like Vine does. But instead of users having to suffer through choppy scrolling because of videos playing in a loop, videos on Instagram do not play till you have lifted your finger off the screen. It really does look simple, and our first reaction was Vine better be preparing already because Instagram has just raised the bar.


The only downside we can think of at the moment is the 15-second length, which Kevin Systrom, the co-founder, called ideal. It still sounds too long to us, but the temptation of being able to use '15 seconds of fame' in future promotions might have proven too hard to resist.

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